The first time through, S2 blew me straight out of the water. I could not
look away from the screen, no matter how often I told myself I should really, like, quit watching TV and do something else.
There are some great lighter (or at least not unrelentingly dark) moments, to be sure. We meet Lorne, the gloriously campy demon who can read peoples’ auras--but only when they sing karaoke for him. Gunn sinks into the Angel Investigations family, and his developing friendships with Wesley and Cordy are a joy to behold. The humour remains strange and off-kilter and really, really easy to snicker at.
Mostly, though, I adore S2 for the darkness. And ooooooh boy, is there ever a lot of it.
Angel spirals downwards into a web of despair and hatred. He loses touch with the folks he’s set out to help. His social awkwardness and inability to relate to people take on a more sinister cast as his determination to destroy Wolfram & Hart drives him to run roughshod over even his closest friends. We see that even with a soul, he’s still capable of inflicting great harm. Eventually (highlight for spoilers),his actions become so untenable, the world’s ills so heavy, that he voluntarily throws his soul away. It doesn’t work, since he’s too damned miserable to achieve true happiness, but it kills me that he’s willing to do it. That he falls so far.
So that’s the dark stuff.
This season also gives us a great deal of meat in regards to Angel and Cordelia's friendship. Cordy’s response to Angel’s emerging darkness is all the more poignant because we know just how deeply she cares for him, and he for her. It wounds my soul, y’all. I don’t want to live in a world where Angel and Cordy don’t love each other, and S2’s cruelest twist lies in its ability to convince me I’ll have to do just that.
I’ve gotta admit, I didn’t love it as much the second time through, but it still brought me an acceptable amount of joy of the oh-my-heart-has-been-ripped-out-and-stom
ped-on variety. When S2 is on, it’s on
Also! I have learned to like the Pylea episodes! I, um, used to think they were rather silly and not at all in keeping with the rest of the season. But that's all past! I like them now! Yay!Musical Notes:
This season sees music jump to the forefront, what with Lorne’s karaoke bar in such a prominent role, so I’ve gotta share my favourite ANGEL-ish song with y’all. Every time I hear "The Blonde Lead the Blind" by Streetlight Manifesto, I think of S2. Many of the band's other songs also fit the series, but this one comes complete with a chorus about losing faith in the Powers That Be. Hello, ANGEL association!
I'm not sure how much Angel would like that song, what with his avowed preference for the likes of Mr Barry Manilow, but I think of him every time I hear it.A Few Favourite Bits:
When Cordy tells Angel he’ll get through, and she’ll be with him right until the end. Angel’s annoyance when the bookstore owner suggests he might have been over thirty
when he was sired (the horror!). Wesley’s attempts to be Angel, especially the bit with the mirror. Every time Lorne flirts with Angel. Wesley’s Hercule Poirot schtick. "Everybody notice how much fire I’m not on?"Pet Peeves:
the Hyperion is a great hotel and all, but isn’t it kind of overkill? I mean, sixty-eight rooms for four people, only one of whom actually lives there? Talk about conspicuous consumption.Back In the Day: